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NBA Bans Concept 1 Shoes Due To 'Unfair Competitive Advantage,' Says Concept 1 Shoe Maker

For the first time ever, the NBA has banned a shoe. Or so claims Athletic Propulsion Labs, the company that makes them.

Ball Don't Lie relays a press release from the company that makes Concept 1 basketball shoes in which said company boasts that their product is no longer street legal. May we recommend some of Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith's Adidas JSmooves instead?

The NBA hasn't confirmed the company's marketing, as far as Google can tell. After the jump, Athletic Propulsion Labs' press release for your consideration:

For the first time in its 64-year history, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has banned a new line of shoes based on the league’s rule against an "unfair competitive advantage" that increases a player’s vertical leap. The league’s ban on Athletic Propulsion Labs’ Concept 1 confirms the company’s claims that the shoe, with its Load ‘N Launch Technology, performs as advertised. No professional player will be allowed to wear the product in games for the upcoming 2010-2011 NBA season.

This action comes on the 25th anniversary of the NBA’s ban on Nike’s Air Jordan shoes, albeit for reasons of their colorful appearance rather than any performance advantage.

Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) was notified by a senior NBA official who stated, "League rules regulate the footwear that players may wear during an NBA game. Under league rules, players may not wear any shoe during a game ‘that creates an undue competitive advantage (e.g., to increase a player's vertical leap).’ In light of that rule…players will not be permitted to wear the APL shoes during NBA games."

Prior to the ban, the Concept 1 shoe had already attracted the interest of NBA players, including a raft of rookies, some of whom have tested them in non-NBA settings. Retailing for $300, the shoes continue to be sold primarily through APL’s website (, and the company is exploring a potential expansion into select athletic footwear and sporting goods retailers.

Athletic Propulsion Labs, based in Los Angeles, is the brainchild of twin brothers Adam and Ryan Goldston, two former University of Southern California basketball players. APL’s Concept 1 basketball shoes were introduced in July 2010 and have been covered extensively by media outlets including Sports Illustrated, ESPN, CNN, CNBC and SLAM Magazine.

"Our proprietary Load ‘N Launch Technology has managed to accomplish something never before achieved in the athletic footwear industry: a product that makes you jump higher instantly," said APL co-founder Ryan Goldston. "The Load ‘N Launch device is implanted in a cavity in the forefoot of the shoe and serves as a ‘launch pad’ by taking the energy exerted by the player and increasing lift with the aid of an intricate, spring-based propulsion system."

In biomechanical testing at a leading West Coast university laboratory, the APL Concept 1 shoes delivered increases in vertical leap of up to 3.5 inches when compared against a leading competitive brand’s most expensive basketball shoe.

"We were not exactly shocked to hear the NBA chose to ban our shoes," said APL co-founder Adam Goldston. "The Load ‘N Launch Technology not only provides an instant and dramatic increase in vertical leap, but the biomechanical testing showed that the players exerted far less energy as a result."

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.